Work and Skills2021-08-13T14:59:01+00:00

For Employers

Free recruitment and training support is available to help your organisation. Having the right people with the right skills can help you grow your business. Check out the schemes below and get in touch with us for more information and guidance.

The Economic Development Team can support you with the initiatives below, or different problems and ideas you have. Get in touch to discuss the options.


Remember to send us your job vacancies for us to share across our channels!

Skills Support for the Workforce

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Leicester & Leicestershire. They provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.

Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) is an initiative designed to support employers and individuals affected by redundancy. SSR is a tailored service to meet your needs, offering a wide range of training support.

Find out more
the initiative Skills Support for the Workforce


Employers will be able to claim £1000 for up to 20 students they host on a 45 day (315 hour) industry placement, from now until July 2022. The incentive offers businesses an excellent opportunity to tap into the emerging talent pipeline, whilst supporting the skilled workforce of the future.

T Levels are a key part of the government’s reforms to revolutionise skills and technical education, generating the skilled workforce that businesses need for the future and giving students the experience they need to progress into well-paid jobs, further study or an apprenticeship.

Industry placements form a key component of T Level courses, with students spending at least 45 days (or 315 hours) with an employer. They offer local businesses an excellent chance to nurture and build a skilled talent pipeline for the future, while helping to level up opportunities as we recover from the pandemic. Students gain vital hands-on experience and invaluable insight of the world of work, setting them up for success in the next steps of their career.

Find out the next steps: Next steps | T Levels

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Supporting Schools

Preparing for work starts in schools. Local schools and colleges are always on the lookout for local employers to support their career programmes. This can include career talks, mock interviews, enterprise days, work experience and more. You can make a difference to the future workforce.

You could even become an Enterprise Adviser (EAs). EAs are matched with a local secondary school or college's leadership team, and work strategically to bridge the gap between the world of work and careers education.

The Enterprise Adviser programme:
- increases engagement young people have with the world of work
- helps students raise their career aspirations
- provides an employer's perspective on industry and current recruitment practices
- raises the profile on lesser-known sectors in the region
- supports schools/colleges to embed labour market information into the classroom

Get in touch to find out how you can get involved. Email

Sector-based Work Academies

Sector-based work academies are designed to help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business. If you have vacancies coming up, consider using one of these.

A sector-based academy can last up to 6 weeks. Placements have 3 main components:

  1. pre-employment training – relevant to the needs of your business sector
  2. work experience placement – of great benefit to the individual and a business
  3. a guaranteed job interview

In England, sector-based work academy training is fully funded through the Skills Funding Agency and delivered by further education colleges and training providers. The training will enable participants to undertake units on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

You can find out more here but please get in touch with the Economic Development Team at if this is something you would like to explore further.

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Apprenticeships can bring fresh new ideas to your businesses and are a great way to train new or existing staff with skills tailored to your business. For apprenticeships to be successful in your organisation they need to be high quality opportunities but there is plenty of support available to help you. This includes help with finding the right standard and training provider, recruitment, funding and more.

Funding options:

  • If you do not need to pay the levy; You pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. If you employ fewer than 50 employees then the government will pay 100% of the costs of apprenticeship training.

  • If you pay the levy; You’ll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%.

  • Employers will receive £3,000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

    The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

    • aged 16 to 18 years old
    • under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

The team can support you with navigating the apprenticeship process, along with our partners. Get in touch today to find out if an apprenticeship is right for your organisation and take the first steps on your apprenticeship journey.


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The logo for Institute for Apprenticeships reads: "Apprentiships" in black text, with a fan shape around the "A" in a gradient from red to yellow

Flexi-job Apprenticeship Offer

Sectors including the creative, agriculture and construction industries can now bid for a share of a £7 million fund to support the creation of new flexible apprenticeships, unlocking more opportunities for people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs.

Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long, so some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, such as digital, adult social care, transport and manufacturing have found it challenging to benefit from the high-quality opportunities available.

For example, this would enable an apprentice working in film, TV or theatre to work on different productions during their apprenticeship, or an apprentice in construction to fulfil several contracts to complete their apprenticeship – such as working on a home refurbishment or a project for an office block. Meanwhile, someone working in adult social care could undertake care placements with a range of employers – including home care via a care agency, and in nursing home or hospice settings.

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Apprenticeships Grant

Businesses in the Harborough district can apply for funding to help them take on apprentices. We are making grants of up to £750 available to encourage apprenticeships and promote the benefits they can offer businesses.

Apply for the Harborough business grant for apprenticeships.

The application process is managed by Leicester Apprenticeship Hub.

Find out more about apprenticeships and how they can help your business  or view our business case studies from local businesses who have benefitted from the grant.             

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Leicester Employment Hub

The Leicester Employment Hub undertakes a range of activities to drive up demand for the full range of national and local employment and training opportunities. It works directly with local businesses (especially SMEs) to increase demand for:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Traineeships
  • Work experience
  • Internships
  • Volunteering
  • Work placements opportunities

The project also adds capacity to and complements the work of the Education Skills Funding Agency and local apprenticeship training providers.

Find out about our partner organisations

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Leicester Employment Hub

The Construction Leadership Council’s Talent Retention Scheme

The Construction Leadership Council’s Talent Retention Scheme helps talented individuals showcase their experience and expertise while helping businesses find the skills they need.

  • They can support corporate redeployment, recruitment and skills development activities across all sectors of construction
  • Tailored company pages and microsites to promote your business, services, latest vacancies, news and events
  • Simple, easy to use platform which enables companies to search for and recruit quality individuals and promote an unlimited number of vacancies
Find out more
the logo reads "Construction Leadership Council" and underneath reads "Talent Retention Scheme"

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs which was announced in July 2020 and it aims to create hundreds and thousands of new, fully funded and paid work placements across England, Scotland and Wales.

The scheme offers funding for employers to create new 6 month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Harborough Innovation Centre (Harborough District Council) are an approved gateway. By applying through us, we can support you throughout the process and we will manage most of the admin tasks.

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The logo for the national Kickstart Scheme

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has a worldwide reputation for top quality teaching and research and is consistently ranked as one of the most socially inclusive universities in the UK. They have a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education and we are proud of their diverse student population.

The Graduate Outcomes Team are able to provide your organisation with a tailored package of support and advice to meet your recruitment needs. Learn more by browsing the links on their website, or contact them at

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De Montfort University

De Montfort University (DMU) can support you to recruit or work with their students and graduates through the pathways below:

  • Funded internships
  • Recruit their students or graduates
  • Placements
  • Recruit temporary staff
  • Mentoring
  • They are happy to have a chat about other options that may not be listed here

De Montfort University also offers Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, bringing together the best of university-based professional and technical education.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships provide your business with the opportunity to train individuals who work full-time in your organisation, while studying for a university qualification that is relevant to their job. Their time will comprise of 80% on-the-job training and 20% off-the-job training.

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Inclusive Employers: Support for Ex-Offenders

Leicester City Council have a recently dedicated resource to focus on bringing together skills and recruitment offers across Leicester/Shire in an attempt to improve employment opportunities for ex offenders and champion inclusive employers; Mandeep Kaur at the Employment Hub would like to learn more about local organisations and share with you what’s coming up on the project. Email to find out how you could get involved.

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